Emotion-based Democrat's argument for banning specific models of semi-automatic weapons deserved better refutations than those offered by Republican Lawyer Cruz
Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) reads bullet wounds like Hermann Rorschach read psychiatric patients' ink blot interpretations; and we suspect the diagnosis of Feinstein's view of blood-splatter patterns as requiring the banning of precisely 157 guns would be one of delusions of grandeur. Predictably, the former Mayor of San Francisco's bill, that would also ban certain types of ammunition and magazines that hold more than 10 bullets, garnered the votes of all 10 Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee recommending that Majority Leader Harry Reid bring it to the floor for a vote by the whole of the U.S. Senate.
All eight Republicans on the committee voted against the proposed so-called "assault weapons ban", but our tea partier conservative star from the Lone Star state disappointed us in this (edited) exchange:
Sen. Cruz: "The Second Amendment and the Bill of Rights provides that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed," Cruz started out -- and then asked whether the First Amendment should "only apply" to certain books or the Fourth Amendment should only protect certain people from unreasonable searches.
Sen. Feinstein: "I'm not a sixth grader. Senator, I've been on this committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in — I saw people shot. I've looked at bodies that have been shot with these weapons. I've seen the bullets that implode. In Sandy Hook, youngsters were dismembered."
Cruz, who has developed a reputation for feisty debate in committee hearings, responded that "nobody doubts (Feinstein's) sincerity or her passion."
However, he noted, she "chose not to answer the question that I asked."
Cruz again asked if the Constitution would allow certain books to be banned.
"The answer is obvious -- no," Feinstein said, though senators subsequently agreed that some pornographic content could be regulated.
If you are dizzy from the blur of senatorial non sequiturs, you are not alone. In fact, an earlier example in which the senior senator from California sought to justify her bill with reference to the over 2000 weapons the bill keeps legal and a rhetorical question suggesting Americans don't need Bazookas, reveals how Cruz's suggested absolutist view of the right to bear any and all arms left the station long ago.
Bazookas, automatic weapons including machine guns and scores of other arms that can be borne have long been banned, consistent with the purpose of the Second Amendment as a check on a tyrannical federal government. Defamation and fighting words have long been deemed actionable. The reasonableness of searches and seizures have always varied depending upon the place to be searched and the particular facts and circumstances of same. Even political speech can be subject to time, place and manner restrictions.
And what are bans on particular arms if not restrictions on the "manner" of the bearing of said arms.
We think the veteran appellate attorney from Texas would have made a better case against the banning of the particular arms, ammo and magazines in the Democrats' bill by specifically answering Sen. Feinstein's rhetorical question concerning the alleged lack of a need for those weapons, with reference to the self-defense right laid out by the Supreme Court in its two recent seminal cases of DC v Heller (2008) and McDonald v Chicago (2010), as follows:
Given that the particular arms, ammo and magazines proposed to be banned have been legal for many years, and that those presently owned by Americans will not be confiscated, it is clearly foreseeable that one could well need arms equal to those that an aggressor may bear in order to effectively defend oneself.
Moreover, murder and violent crime generally has fallen since the lifting of the previous 10-year federal assault weapons ban in 2005. Additionally, mass murder incidents have occurred at approximately the same rate before, during and after the 1994-2005 Clinton ban. The fact is that violent crime has fallen dramatically for the past three decades due to the increased incarceration rates of violent criminals, an aging population and the increase in the number of law-abiding Americans bearing arms.
But just as with White racism and clean air and water; Democrats can never admit that any problem has ever been solved lest the need to vote for Democrats to solve them evaporate.
We are used to identity, emotion-based, logic-free arguments for more laws from Democrats. We hope that the next time one of our most admired conservatives takes on the Democrats in such a public way, that he brings his A-game. For instance, when he follows through on his vow to do all he can under senate rules to defund Obamacare, but I digress.
There is no rhyme of reason to Feinstein's Democratic Party-backed bill meant to use the Sandy Hook massacre to advance liberal ideology, and on that score, Ted Cruz and the other seven Republicans on the committee got it right.
“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson